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No Answer On Starting QB Or Other Key Cardinals For Finale

Among players in question against 49ers: Brown, Hopkins, Conner

Wide receiver Marquise Brown makes a catch during Sunday's loss in Atlanta.
Wide receiver Marquise Brown makes a catch during Sunday's loss in Atlanta.

The NFL finalized their Week 18 schedule on Monday afternoon, and the Cardinals will kick off their last game of the season in San Francisco at 2:25 p.m. Arizona time.

The NFC West champion 49ers, 12-4 on the season and winners of nine straight, still have a chance to come away with the NFC's top seed (and a playoff bye) with a win and an Eagles' loss.

Who the Cardinals are playing against the 49ers? That's much less clear.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday he had not yet made a decision about who will start at quarterback for the Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. There is also uncertainty about whether the Cardinals will play their top running back -- James Conner has a shin injury -- or their top two wide receivers -- DeAndre Hopkins sat out with a knee injury in Atlanta and Hollywood Brown hurt his arm late in the game.

All three, Kingsbury said, will be evaluated as the week goes on to see if they can play.

For the QB choice, "we'll see where everybody is at," Kingsbury said. "I haven't met with the medical staff yet. We'll see over the next two days where that falls."

Last week, Kingsbury intimated that this week's start would be between David Blough -- who started against the Falcons -- and Trace McSorley -- who started the game before against the Buccaneers. But a check with the medical staff could indicate Colt McCoy, who missed the Atlanta game after suffering concussion symptoms last week, might still be an option. Kingsbury said McCoy is not in the concussion protocol.


Kingsbury confirmed quarterback Kyler Murray will have the surgery to repair his torn right ACL on Tuesday. Kingsbury said he and Murray talked in the training room recently about the process and how it would play out. Kingsbury said Murray had also talked to teammates who had gone through a similar rehab.

"I just told him you're a much better athlete than all those guys so I expect it to be a lot faster recovery," Kingsbury said. "I think he's ready to get going and get on the trail to rehab."

There has not been a determination yet where Murray does his rehab.

The top images taken by the Cardinals team photographer during the 2022 Week 17 regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons, presented by Earnhardt Auto Centers.